I made these little biddies for brunch last weekend. Here’s the thing. I’m not gonna lie to you. There are a lot of steps involved in making cinnamoney rolls from scratch. I’m not saying they’re difficult steps. It’s just a lot of steps.
I want to be honest and upfront with you about this. Mostly because all of the blogs I perused to find a recipe taunted me by telling me they “made them for breakfast this morning!” Well, here’s the thing. You would have had to get up 4 hours before breakfast if that were true. Don’t try and convince me you did that.
Or the other blog that told me about how when you’re sad, you make cinnamon rolls. Yeah? You’re depressed and willing to wait 4 hours for gratification? We must have different definitions of sad. When I’m sad, I need something more instant. Like Hershey’s Hugs. Those work well. Or a box of Oreos. That could suffice…. but making cinnamon rolls? Please.
What I’m trying to say is 1) Make these little friends the night before! Let them rise in the fridge so you can bake them in the morning! Still a lot of steps, but I’m saving you valuable hours of beauty rest here.
and 2) if someone ever makes cinnamoney rolls for you, they love you a whole whole lot. I made these for my family and B, both of which I love a whole whole lot so it worked out well!
I hope I haven’t deterred you too much from making these. MAKE THEM! LOVE PEOPLE A WHOLE WHOLE LOT! Bake something with lots of steps so that it is 2389 times more rewarding! DO IT!
Recipe adapted from here:
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk at room temp.
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted*.
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cloves
2 tbs maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese
4 tbs. butter, melted
If you have a mixer and a dough hook, you are in luck! If you have a hand mixer and no other fancy attachments… well it’s going to get messy. But it can be done!
Start by combining yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar*, and 1/4 cup water heated to 115 degrees (until the water is hot to the touch of the underside of your wrist!). Stir it a little and let it proof for about 10 minutes until foamy. Add remaining sugar, light brown sugar, milk, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk*. Beat on low speed until fully combined. Add your flour and salt and mix on medium until dough forms. Then mix a little longer (this would be in place of “kneading.” The dough is too wet for traditional kneading but the idea is the same: make that dough smooth).
Remove bowl from mixer. Cover with plastic and a towel and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
Get your filling ready: mix together sugars, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Then mix in maple syrup*.
When the dough is doubled in size, punch it down (something very rewarding about this). Turn it out on a very heavily floured surface. Knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Now, roll the dough into a square (about 10×10). Using a mixer or knife, “whip” the cream cheese until spreadable. Then spread it over the top of your dough square.
Fold the dough into thirds like you’re about to put it in an envelope and mail it to your best friend. Then fold it again in thirds so you have a nice compact square. Now roll that down (again. rewarding). Roll into about a 10 x 20 rectangle.
Brush the top of your dough rectangle with the melted butter (be generous). Then, using your hands or whatever feels right, spread the filling on top of the dough, slightly pressing the filling into the dough. Leave a small 1” perimeter without filling around the corner of the dough*.
Now the fun part! Roll the dough (kind of tightly) into a dough log. Cut into 8-9 slices and arrange in a well-buttered 9×13 baking dish. How pretty is that!?
Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge to rise over night (or if you’re the crazy who woke up 4 hours in advance, let rise another 2 hours).
Wake up! Take the happy rolls out of the fridge and let rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375. Bake about 30 minutes (I did more like 25). While your rolls are baking prepare the icing:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk.
Whisk them together! Add more sugar if you want thicker icing. Add more buttermilk if you want thinner.
After the rolls come out of the oven use a spoon to drizzle the icing goodness all over the cinnaMONEY roll goodness. EAT!
*Anytime you see an asterisk is a place that I messed up when making these and did something wrong. Just know that even though I forgot to sift my flour; used the whole 1/4 cup sugar to let the yeast proof; thought that the “egg yolk” said “egg white” and added a white instead of a yolk, and then corrected it by adding the yolk and therefore used two eggs; didn’t have maple syrup and just used plain old log cabin syrup; and left way too big of a filling-less perimeter around the dough pre-rolling, these still turned out GREAT! Yes. Baking is a science. But don’t be deterred if you miss a step! Things have a way of working out.